Protecting Kids With Special Needs From Summer Heat
This summer the Texas heat has arrived quickly!
The heat makes outdoor activities extra challenging. Many of our clients don’t have the language or the communication skills to tell us how they’re feeling in our wonderful Texas heat.
Different Heat Sensitivities
Each person is an individual who can tolerate different degrees of heat. We see people walking along the road in 105-degree weather—you couldn’t pay us to do that! There are other people who are extremely sensitive to heat and can’t handle even transitioning into their car without cooling it down first. And even if you can tolerate the Texas heat that doesn’t mean your kiddo can. Many of our kids who don’t have the ability to say that they’re hot, or feeling uncomfortable, or that they have a headache, tend to dehydrate rapidly. It’s important to remember that if your child is not proficient with communicating whether on their own or with an assisted device, make sure you look for those physical signs that they may be too hot. You might ask them from time to time if they want to go in, or if they feel hot.
Mix in Indoor Activities
Make sure you select some activities inside so that they aren’t outside all day. Summer activities like swimming are a lot of fun, but sometimes our kids dehydrate even doing that. Try mixing up your day with indoor and outdoor activities. Of course, we don’t want you indoors all day, but we don’t want you outdoors in this heat all day either! Break up your day with a nice sensory diet that your therapist can help you with, that paces those activities so you can do some of that same heavy work, and the same vestibular and tactile input inside as well as you can outside.
Have a great summer! Just keep an eye on the heat and your child’s hydration, so you can all stay cool and comfortable!